County turns to technology for interpreting foreign languages

by / Monday, 29 June 2015 / Published in News

USTIN, Minn. – Mower County is turning to technology for help interpreting foreign languages.

The county attorney’s office purchased an ELSA™ interpreting unit about a year ago, and the county recently purchased two more.

It allows staff in departments like human services, the jail and the sheriff’s office to electronically access an interpreter for more than 100 languages.

“We can do the Sudanese languages, we can do Spanish, French and just about any language that’s out there, Karen, those are all available to us,” said Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.

She said they have used it numerous times since they got one of their own.

“They have actually used it for welfare fraud cases and things like that when they need to do an interview and it’s been very helpful,” Amazi said. “We don’t have to go and search up an interpreter and schedule things. We have it readily available.”

The county had an agreement with the Welcome Center, but that recently came to an end, so they are continuing to expand use of ELSA™. Amazi said the demand is there for the sheriff’s office to look into getting more.